Tag Archive for: dumping

Caught On Camera: Woodridge Contractor Dumping on Neighbor’s Property

On Thursday, May 16, I photographed a contractor for a subsidiary of Perry Homes dumping dirt, mulch and sticks in a neighbor’s drainage ditch.

I was investigating flooding around the edges of a new development called Woodridge Village in Montgomery County just north of the Harris County line. The developer, Figure Four Partners (a subsidiary of PSWA and Perry Homes), has hired Rebel Contractors to clear and grade approximately 268 acres of land north of Elm Grove Village in Kingwood.

Hundreds of nearby homes that never flooded before flooded during heavy rains on May 7. It appears that something happened during the clearing and grading to change drainage.

At least four lawyers have discussed filing suits on behalf of neighbors against Figure Four Partners and Rebel Contractors. The Webster and Spurlock law firms alone initially filed suits earlier this week on behalf of approximately 100 plaintiffs and added approximately 80 more by the end of the week. So you would think the defendants would be on their best behavior. But never underestimate the chutzpah of men who drive bulldozers. Here’s what happened.

Though Shalt Not Dump, Especially When Being Sued

After interviewing a Porter flood victim, I was heading north on Webb Street past the entrance to the northern portion of the Woodridge job site, when suddenly, a large piece of earthmoving equipment shot out in front of me. The operator dumped a load of sticks and mulch into the ditch of a neighbor on the far side of the street. My jaw dropped! I grabbed my camera and photographed this sequence while waiting to get through. It shows him scraping mulch into the neighbor’s drainage ditch.

He held traffic up in both directions for several minutes.

When the operator saw my camera, he backed into the work site and ducked around the corner.

I drove forward and got this close up. There was one load of mulch when I left. Notice the deep truck ruts and broken asphalt being covered up.

Later that evening, one of the neighbors took the photo below at the same location. It shows that the operator dropped much more mulch into the neighbor’s ditch after I left.

Photo courtesy of Gretchen Dunlap Smith.

Property Owner Did Not Request Mulch

I returned Friday to talk to the owner of this property who wishes to remain anonymous. He says he did NOT ask the contractor to dump the mulch there, NOR did he give them permission to dump it. They just dumped it.

He theorized that it might be a feeble attempt to repair the road. However, to me, it looked more like an attempt to cover up road damage. But that didn’t work well either. As I photographed the pile the next morning…

…large construction trucks continued…
…to crack off large chunks of the street and push the material father into the ditch.
Where a nice lawn once grew, there was an ugly, useless pile of mulch to clog drains and culverts down the street during the next rain. That’s how dumping worsens street flooding.

By Saturday, Even More Dumping on Neighbor

By Saturday morning, the pile had grown wider and deeper.
It became clear that 18-wheelers where using the bed of mulch to…
…widen the turning radius into a driveway that was too narrow to accommodate large equipment.

Link Between Dumping and Street Flooding

During the next big rain, this mulch will likely wash away and block the neighbor’s culvert. When that happens, his property will flood AGAIN…on what will probably be a smaller rain.

The homeowner said that the contractor had “assured him” that they would fix the street before they left. However, he also assured me that they had not given him anything in writing.

You Can’t Put Lipstick on Bulldozers

In the meantime, Perry Homes (whose subsidiaries own this property and hired the contractor) has reportedly brought in a high-powered PR team to help shore up their image on this project, Jim McGrath and Chris Begala. Begala and McGrath have strong political ties that include former presidents! Interesting that Perry Homes thinks this is a PR problem and not a quality-control problem.

Suggestion: Just Widen Your Driveway

You don’t have to drive or dump on others’ property. You don’t have to destroy a public street. Just widen YOUR driveway. There’s plenty of room. You have 268 acres!

Here’s the location of the incident in case Begala, McGrath, Perry Homes, Figure Four or Rebel Contractors want to do the right thing. Neighbors in Elm Grove complained of these same problems and more.

Posted by Bob Rehak on 5/19/2019

628 Days since Hurricane Harvey